2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Daniel Aughenbaugh, Washington State (Carson)

Daniel Aughenbaugh

Washington State University, Carson College of Business

Hard-working individual driven by a strong belief in the power of analytics, teamwork, and collaboration.”

Age: 35

Hometown: Westminster, Colorado

Fun fact about yourself: I am an avid Spawn comic book collector.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Metropolitan State University of Denver

Where are you currently working? Corden Pharma, Project Manager (Just got promoted!)

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Achieving back-to back record sales years at the restaurant that I managed. This success was made possible by an incredible amount of teamwork throughout all levels of the company. It was great to see first-hand how the time and training everyone put in really paid out in a tangible manner.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? During my preliminary research into different schools, the WSU program was ranked as a top online MBA program. I also really appreciated the different courses the program had to offer, especially its in-depth Capstone program.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? There were many, many amazing aspects of being a part of the WSU online program. But the teamwork and collaboration, with both students and professors, was truly unforgettable.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? The in-person feel of the environment. Despite being virtual, there was a true sense of being part of a class-room and an organization. This feeling was most apparent in how close my Capstone group grew over the course of our project.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? As a chemistry student during my undergraduate studies, I was tasked with performing lots of hands-on work in a lab. The online experience required a bit of personal adaptation in order to foster this same type of teamwork but in a virtual setting. Overall, with some hard work, both settings can be equally advantageous.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Form good relationships and form them early! Success does not come alone but through teamwork and collaboration!

What would you change about an online MBA Program? In a perfect world, I would require everyone to have their camera on in lecture! This really creates a sense of togetherness. My real world suggestion would be for programs to occasionally evaluate the discussion posts required by the different classes to make sure they actually add value. On rare occasions, some discussions seem to be structured in a way that made them seem like busy-work.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? The MBA degree has helped me to gain an advanced knowledge on the integration and cross-functionality that an organization requires. From an online education perspective, it has taught me to work in a virtual manner with people from various backgrounds and technical abilities, which is key to achieving success in the modern connected business world.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: Approximately 30.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My ultimate long-term professional goal is to move into a top senior-level management position within the STEM field, where I can push a company to new heights of success and create a culture that puts people first.


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